Monday, 17 November 2014
Happy World Prematurity Day 2014
Today, the 17th of November, is always a special day for me.
Today is also a special day anyone who was born prematurely as it is prematurity day
32 years ago I was born with my twin sister Natalie in Kingston Hospital in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey UK. When we were born, we were not breathing, and had to be on ventilators from that moment onwards. We both had a heart attack on the third day of our life, and were baptised in hospital because we were so ill that nobody thought we would make it, and if we did survive we would both be a vegetable.
Natalie lost her fight when we were nine days old, and passed away, leaving me to fight for my life in hospital. I had a whole host of infections including jaundice and conjunctivitis as well as heart and lung problems. Lack of oxygen caused me to have a brain bleed on both sides of my brain which caused spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and Hydrocephalus, and I have a VP shunt.
My shunt is a pressure valve attached to a long tube (catheter) which goes down into my abdomen. My shunt drains off the cerebral spinal fluid I cannot control or absorb because of my Hydrocephalus. This liquid protects the spine and brain. The buildup of the liquid because my brain bleeds caused my brain to swell which caused brain damage. My optic nerve is damaged, and there is damage to my movement and sight areas of my brain. I also have PVL and spina bifida occulta.
BUT i have a degree, am bilingual in English and Spanish. I have written 4 books and am getting my first ready to publish. I am also engaged.